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About Hearing Aid
Why are hearing aids so important?

Hearing aids are primarily useful in improving the hearing and speech comprehension of people who have hearing loss that results from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear, called hair cells .This type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss.

Language is learnt through exposure to sounds. Children pick up words they hear in the environment. But not only language development is dependent on your child’s ability to hear but their listening skills also influence their ability to learn to both read and write and it greatly influences their social skills as well. To develop spoken language, children must be able to hear speech clearly and also to hear themselves. If your child’s hearing loss is left untreated, their basic language development will often be delayed. As your child grows, they face a range of challenges during different stages of their lives, from infancy through the school years and beyond.

Imagine a man who has not used his legs in many months trying to run a marathon. More than likely, he will not win or even finish the race. Why? The muscles in his legs have atrophied… his legs aren’t conditioned to run, so they can’t complete the task. This is what auditory deprivation is to the ears.

When hearing loss is ignored and left untreated, the auditory system is deprived of sound. Depriving the hearing system of sound, results in atrophy of the auditory nerves and speech processing areas of the brain. This atrophy is called Auditory Deprivation. Once auditory deprivation has taken place, restoring hearing through the use of hearing aids becomes much more difficult.

Auditory deprivation leads to increased difficulty understanding words and processing speech. Individuals with hearing loss often report they hear people speaking but they can’t understand what they’re saying ‐ the words are not clear. The good news is that when identified early and treated quickly, individuals with hearing loss have better success with hearing devices and preserve better hearing sensitivity across their lifespan.

If you are over the age of 50, even if you don’t perceive difficulty hearing, it is time to have a baseline hearing evaluation. If you suspect that you do have a hearing loss, don’t wait to have your hearing checked!

After wearing hearing aids for a few weeks, some people express concern that they can’t hear as well without their devices as they could before they ever started using them. In reality, though, the misconception occurs because their brains are tricking them.

On average, a person experiencing hearing loss waits seven to ten years before seeking help from a hearing healthcare professional. It’s common (and likely) that their hearing ability will gradually worsen throughout that period of time. As a result, the brain gets more and more accustomed to hearing loss and begins to perceive their level of hearing ability as “normal.”

When you begin wearing hearing aids, the volume and clarity of sounds can seem jarring for the first few weeks. This happens because your brain is readjusting and learning to recognize a new “normal” level of hearing ability. Once that happens, your hearing loss becomes much more noticeable when you aren’t using hearing devices. You might find that without your devices, sounds seem drastically muted…because they are!

This process is similar to your eyes’ ability to adjust to darkness or light. When you’ve been in a dark room for a while, it’s possible to see shapes and maybe even some shades of color. If you then turn the lights on, it seems too bright because your eyes need to adjust. Once they do, everything becomes much more clear and full of life. When you turn the lights back off, you can’t see those shapes and shades of colors anymore. Did your vision suddenly become worse because of the exposure to light? No, but now it’s clear just how limited your eyes had been in the dark.

Other people express concerns that hearing aids are dangerous for your eardrums. However, this isn’t the case if the devices are fit and programmed correctly. Hearing aids work by amplifying and processing sounds so you can hear them more easily. It’s true that powerful sounds played directly next to your eardrum can damage your ears and your hearing (such as loud music played through headphones). However, if you have hearing loss, the volume of well-fit hearing aids won’t be loud enough to do harm.

When an experienced hearing healthcare professional fits you for a hearing aid, they’ll program the device to fit your personal level of hearing loss. This means the level of amplification and sound processing will be just enough to allow you to hear as naturally as possible.

If, after your rehabilitation period, your hearing aids seem like they’re too loud, you should go back to your hearing professional to have them adjusted. If the devices are programmed to amplify frequencies you can already hear well, this could pose a danger in the long run. (Children with hearing loss may not know enough to speak up if their devices seem too loud. It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on the way they interact with hearing devices to make sure that they don’t need reprogramming.)

There are specific instances when improperly-fit hearing aids can pose a danger to your hearing. If they’re set to be louder than they need to be in order to compensate for your specific hearing loss, then the sound levels can cause noise damage. This can happen more often in hearing aids bought online. Even if you send an online retailer your audiogram results and they make adjustments based on that information, there’s no substitute for an experienced professional programming them with you in person.